Can Caleb Williams Finish as a QB1 in Fantasy Football? | Chicago Bears Fantasy Football Draft Guide

by Dylan Clemons
Can Caleb Williams Finish as a QB1 in Fantasy Football

The Chicago Bears have had one of the most important offseasons in their historic franchise history. In this draft guide, we will break down some of the biggest questions heading into the fantasy football season. Those questions include: Can Caleb Williams can finish as a QB1 in Fantasy Football his rookie season, who is the running back you want in a crowded backfield, and which wide receiver is the best value between D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, or Rome Odunze?

The Bears offseason started with retaining head coach Matt Eberflus thus making Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy the scapegoat by firing him. They replaced him with Shane Waldron who was with the Seahawks most recently and helped the Rams win a Super Bowl before that. They also moved on from Justin Fields trading him to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In theory, Shane Waldron should be able to help develop a young quarterback in Caleb Williams. However, that is not the only thing they did to help rookie Caleb Williams. They also acquired Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers and drafted WR Rome Odunze from Washington with the ninth overall pick.

With the Bears doing everything they can to improve the offense that makes for a fun fantasy football season incoming. Now, let's go ahead and start diving into the biggest questions heading into the fantasy football season for this Bears team.

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Can Caleb Williams become a QB1 in his Rookie Season?

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C.J. Stroud and Justin Herbert are the last two quarterbacks to finish as QB1 in their rookie season. Stroud did it in a season in which the quarterback position was weak while averaging just 18.7 fantasy points per game which was seventh.

In Justin Herbert's rookie season, he finished as QB7 (22.9) in points per game. He did that on the back of 31 passing touchdowns (10th) five rushing (7th) and 4,336 passing yards (6th) while also ranking 10th in pace. Justin Herbert also finished with 595 passing attempts which was the fourth most in the NFL. If Williams were to do that that would be Chicago Bears single-season records at the position.

Caleb Williams is walking into arguably the best weapons a first-year quarterback has ever walked into. DJ Moore and Keenan Allen have both topped over 1,000 yards in multiple seasons. Drafting Rome Odunze as their third receiver and air apparent to Keenan Allen will make things easier. The Bears have also added to a strong tight end room that already had Cole Kmet by adding Gerald Everett as well.

I do not expect the Bears to need to rely on Caleb Williams as much as the Chargers did Herbert in his rookie season. The Bears defense on paper is much better than the Chargers was as they finished strong last season after acquiring Montez Sweat. While I expect Caleb Williams to have a nice rookie season, I do not expect him to finish as a top-12 quarterback on the year with how deep the position is.

Is Keenan Allen or D.J. Moore the Top Bears Wide Receiver?

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Last season for the Bears there was a clear-cut number one guy in the wide receiver room and that was D.J. Moore. Justin Fields locked on to D.J. Moore as he saw a 28% target share and caught a career-high eight touchdowns en route to finishing as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver in points per game.

With Keenan Allen in town, it is going to be tough to see that type of volume once again. Allen has been the definition of a volume receiver throughout his career. In just 13 games last season Allen saw 150 targets for the third time in five years. Although Allen is aging he still separates at a great level ranking in the top 20 in target separation last season which should bode well for a rookie quarterback.  The one big knock-on on Allen is availability as he has played in just 23 games in the past two seasons.

That's where Rome Odunze comes into play. If Allen happens to go down the Bears have the perfect depth piece in Rome Odunze on the roster. Odunze should be more of a depth piece this season as he could be the deep threat and red zone target which he was in college as he is the biggest wide receiver in the room for the Bears standing at 6' 3".

One thing holding me back from diving all in on Rome is the way Shane Waldron handled rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba. JSN had just a 65% snap share as a rookie because Shane Waldron likes to run more two wide receiver sets. With the Bears now having Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett Waldron may opt to stick with two tight end sets which he ran at the seventh-highest rate making Odunze just a part-time player.

Who is the Running Back to Target in the Bears Backfield?

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The Bears may have a crowded backfield with D'Andre Swift, Khalil Herbert, and second-year breakout hopeful Roschon Johnson. However, the Bears seemed to be very intrigued by D'Andre Swift as he was one of the first signings for any team in the offseason.

Swift is coming off a season in which he saw the most volume he has seen throughout his career with 229 carries and finishing with the fifth most yards in the NFL. However, he still finished as just the RB24 in PPR points per game.

With Swift getting more carries his efficiency took a tumble. In 2022 Swift ranked second in the NFL in yards per touch at 6.3, but last season it dropped to just 4.7 which ranked 28th in the NFL. Swift also caught the fewest passes of his career which was expected while playing with a mobile quarterback in Jalen Hurts. With a rookie quarterback at the helm this season for the Bears you have to expect Swift should be involved more in the passing even though Williams is known to play hero ball.

As for Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson. It is clear the Bears do not want to rely on Herbert even though he has shown flashes when given the opportunity. But with the history of Swift struggling to stay healthy, Herbert could be a high-end handcuff, but not someone you should be drafting.

I believe Roschon Johnson will have a role in this offense as a third-down back, and a red zone threat. Johnson is the best pass-blocking running back on this roster, so the Bears will want him on the field protecting their rookie QB. As for his fantasy value, outside of hoping he falls into the endzone any given week I do not see much

Final Thoughts

The Bears offense should be much more efficient this season. Although it could start out a bit rocky with a rookie quarterback leading the squad.

Even though Caleb Williams is a highly-touted rookie, I would pump the breaks on him finishing as a QB1 this season. Too many things would need to break right for that to happen, and with a defensive-minded head coach, I do not believe they are going to ask him to do too much.

As for the wide receivers, I believe Williams can support Keenan Allen and DJ Moore as two top-24 guys by the end of the season. However, with D.J. Moore still going off the board as WR20 that is a tougher pill to swallow than it is for Keenan Allen whose ADP is WR34. Even with Moore finishing as a top-eight wide receiver last season he still had his inconsistencies throughout the season. He scored fewer than 10 fantasy points five times last season and it could get worse this season.

If I am targeting one receiver in this offense it is going to be Keenan Allen. He is the best value at WR34 with there being a world where he leads the Bears in targets. Odunze is going as a top-40 wide receiver and is at best the number-three option in the passing game.

Then, just to put a bow on the running backs Swift is a fine RB2 target late. He isn't someone I am going out of my way drafting but with him going as RB22 that is fine. I do not foresee him finishing much higher than that so you may be getting him at his ceiling. No other running back in this backfield has me excited.


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